Farmers and producers

Swaps case comes at uncomfortable time for Kiwi banks

[21 May/NZ Herald] Controversy over how New Zealand lenders sold a complicated financial product to farms have resurfaced during a bad time for the reputation of the Australasian banking sector. It was revealed that former Dargaville farmer, Renie Gibson, is suing Westpac after she lost her farm during the financial crisis. The action remains live. ...

Stuff Decision Bad for Primary Industries

[18 May/NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists & Communicators] Stuff recently decided to close its nationwide portfolio of farming publications. It was bad news for staff affected, the primary industries and the public according to President of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists, Elaine Fisher. She said the closure affects the jobs of 12 of...

Bank teams up with young farmers

[11 May/Rural News] Heartland Bank has teamed up with NZ Young Farmers to support young people at the forefront of the rural industry. The agri-food sector was a vital part of New Zealand’s economy and needed young people to fuel it in the future, according to the bank. Head of Rural at Heartland Bank, Chris...

Call for tougher penalties for rustling

[3 May/Rural Life] Federated Farmers Meat and Wool Chairman, Miles Anderson, urged farmers to keep the livestock theft conversation going. He called for legislation to be altered with tougher penalties introduced. Mr Anderson was pleased with the reception received from the select committee, and hoped the report would recommend stiffer penalties. He was personally targeted...

Chairwoman of state-owned farmer company leaving board

[27 April/NZ Farmer] Landcorp Farming’s board will need a new chairperson after Traci Houpapa and directors Nikki Davies-Colley, Pauline Lockett and Eric Roy reached the end of their allotted terms to act as governors of the State Owned Enterprise. The directors will be replaced by Nigel Atherfold, Hayley Gourley and Belinda Storey, who will join...

Farm sales dip in March quarter

[24 April/Rural Life] Farm sales for the March quarter fell 11 percent with 50 fewer sales than the same period last year. The spread of Mycoplasma bovis had an effect on sales in some regions. Arable was down almost 41 percent and grazing was down almost 37 percent according to Real Estate Institute of New...

Deer milk industry in the pipeline

[12 April/Dairy News] Landcorp is working on creating a deer milk industry. Landcorp General Manager of Dairy Operations, Mark Julian, said it was early days and that it was different to the sheep milk industry which had products on the market. He added the project was mainly research and development and that they were looking...

Poor farmer and processor relationships costing New Zealand

[10 April/NZ Farmer] Research from Lincoln University has shown poor relationships between farmers and their meat producers could be costing New Zealand. Lincoln University Senior Lecturer, Nic Lees, said improving relationships was essential and that from his survey New Zealand was missing out on higher market returns because of a lack of commitment and trust...

Wanted: 14,329 more kiwifruit workers for Bay by 2030

[8 April/The Country] The kiwifruit industry needed to find 14,329 more workers in the next 12 years as the sector continued to boom. Zespri Head of Grower Relations, Dave Courtney, said the industry was on track to more than double sales by 2025. Zespri had employed more staff and now export to nearly 60 countries....

Iwi leader helps out with Hawke’s Bay’s apple-picking crisis – more residents urged to pitch in

[8 April/NZ Herald] Immigration officials were unable to process potential overseas workers faster, so residents in the Hawke’s Bay region were asked to help out with the apple picking crisis. Ngati Kahungunu Chairman, Ngahiwi Tomoana, spent three days picking apples in an attempt to get locals involved. Mr Tomoana said the apple industry was the...

Seed company will compensate

[7 April/Rural Life] PGG Wrightson sold seeds linked to the deaths of hundreds of dairy cows in 2014. Farmers were sold the wrong swede seed leading to the deaths. They said an investigation showed an error in the supply chain and the wrong line of seed had been processed. Human error led to 556 farmers...

Social connection ‘vital’ for retired farmers

 [10 April/The Country] Retirement can be a challenge for farmers with close ties to their land, but it can also open doors to new opportunities. Retirement was weighing heavily on farmers minds and two thirds of farmers aimed to hand over their farms in the next ten years as they approached 65, according to a...

Landcorp sells Jericho to Kiwi

[10 April/Farmers Weekly] The state-owned farmer trading as Pamu Farms, Landcorp Farming, has chosen a back-up bidder to sell its Jericho Station sheep and beef farm and Fiordland to after the preferred foreign buyer withdrew. They expected the new farmer to complete the transaction in early June according to spokesman, Simon King. A Chinese buyer...

Syndex announces first of its kind Diversified Agri Fund

[27 March] Syndex, an innovative investment platform, announced the listing of its first diversified agriculture fund. The Natural Farm Food Limited Partnership Fund (NFFLP) was being released alongside Farm Venture which was a farm property and operations management business. The new funds aimed to raise $150 million.  Syndex Chief Executive, Ross Verry, said the Farm...

Details of Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final revealed

[27 March/Scoop] The FMG Young Farmer of The Year will be announced in Invercargill in four months’ time. It will mark the 50th anniversary of the award and the finalists are to be decided at the Otago/Southland Regional Final in Winton on 21 April. Event Convenor, James Goodwin, said they hoped to have 1,200 people...

Manawatu dairy winners aim to pay off $100,000 a year to improve herd

[26 March/NZ Farmer] Wendy and Richard Ridd won the Manawatu dairy industry sharemilkers award and planned to pay off their debt at $100,000 a year whilst simultaneously improving herd performance. Ms Ridd said their core values were respect, teamwork, price and education, and that they had come to understand how important the relationships with the...

Farm sales continue downward trend

[20 March/Radio NZ] Farm sales were on a downward trend with 12 percent fewer properties sold in the three months to February compared to last year. The average price per hectare has risen by half a percent. The Real Estate Institute’s spokesperson, Brian Peacocke, said farm sales were easing mainly due to the time of...

Campaign aims to lower farmer death toll

[15 March/Radio NZ] A WorkSafe campaign to get farmers to use their rural vehicles more safely was prompted due to high rates of farm fatalities. According to WorkSafe statistics, 128 people have died in farm accidents since 2011. The agency will send inspectors to farms and launch publicity campaigns. The campaign aims to reduce fatalities...

Farmers told to work with constructively with the new government or risk being shut out

[13 March/NZ Farmer] Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman, James Parsons, spoke at Onetai Station’s recent annual field day and urged farmers to not be worried by participating in the government’s proposed policies about climate change. He said that he thought there was genuine desire to be collaborative and that this was seen in the...

Cyclone Bola remembered, as 300mm of rain deluges parts of Hawke’s Bay

[9 March/The Country] Heavy rainfall of up to 329mm in just over 24 hours was recorded in the Hawke’s Bay Region, thirty years since Cyclone Bola. The rainfall was almost three times the March average over the thirty year period. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Principal Scientist Climate and Air, Dr Kathleen Kosyniak, said the rainfall...

Help coming for storm-hit farmers in Taranaki and Tasman

[2 March/NZ Farmer] The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities, Damien O’Connor, announced that the damage caused by former cyclone Gita in Taranaki and parts of the Tasman district met the criteria to be classified as a medium-scale adverse event which would trigger funding for recovery efforts. He noted that intense winds caused significant damage...

Landcorp’s half-year profit falls 42 percent following volatile weather

[5 March/NZ Farmer] Landcorp’s profit after tax has fallen 42 percent to $21.9 million for the first six months of the year. Landcorp’s Chief Executive, Steven Carden, predicted full year EBITDA would be between $33 and $38 million. He added that this was a good result given the spring and summer conditions when record rainfall...

Landcorp to keep farms under new government

[26 February/National Business Review] New Zealand’s largest farmer Landcorp has been given assurance the new government won’t proceed with a National Party plan to sell many of its farms to young farmers. The policy was announced by the National Government during the election campaign, giving SOE’s Chairwoman, Traci Houpapa, only four hours’ notice of its...

Rural-urban divide narrowing – report

[26 February/Rural News] Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor welcomed recent survey results that showed many New Zealanders hold a similar positive view of the primary sector. O’Connor said the key finding was that with very few exceptions, the views of rural and urban New Zealanders are similar across key areas such as water quality and expansion...